A former ironworks foundry site that sat vacant for 50 years has been reborn as housing for formerly homeless veterans.

Lincoln Apartments is strategically located less than a mile from a Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital in Indianapolis. Developed by Building Blocks Nonprofit Housing Corp., an affiliate of Great Lakes Capital Fund (GLCF), the project is the first permanent supportive housing development dedicated to vets in the city.

Multiple public and private partners joined forces to make the 75-unit community a reality, says Dennis Quinn, president of Building Blocks and senior vice president of GLCF.

First, the city donated the land after financing the site cleanup with grants from state and federal agencies. All along, the location was central to the development plan. Public transportation and VA shuttles provide residents with access to the hospital. The VA is funding two on-site case managers, and Volunteers of America is providing a caseworker and a volunteer coordinator. Residents can take part in mental and physical therapy, employment counseling, and other services.

“For the residents, it’s a new lease on life, not just a lease on an apartment,” says Fred Hash, GLCF’s vice president, director of business development.

Early in the process, the team attended the state’s Supportive Housing Institute for 12 days of training, and Lincoln Apartments is among the first projects to result from the Institute.

The $11.6 million project was financed with low-income housing tax credits.